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InebriatedGnome

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About InebriatedGnome

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  1. Luckily, I thought better of it once I finally found the screwdriver :sweatdrop: Blunt implements aren't working particularly well, and I'm loath to apply any considerable amount of force to the case. It's almost definitely snap-fastened--I'd worked it out before posting this, although I obviously hadn't considered how unsuitable a screwdriver was for the job. There's a barely-visible groove between the back of the case and the middle, positioned around the twelve o-clock mark. It's only really noticeable because of a slight blemish where someone evidently tried taking a sharper lever to it, but once I've sent the case to a silversmith for cleaning it shouldn't be an issue--it's only marginally lighter than the rest of the surface at the moment, and not a clear gouge. I'll have to wait til I'm back home before showing it to a watch shop, so the movement--and hallmarks--will likely remain hidden for another few days, unless I can find a case knife in Islamabad.
  2. Thanks for the info Mel--it's a bit sad, but I'm far too anal about these things. I still can't get at a decent camera, so these (terrible) phone shots will have to do: I'm having trouble using a knife to take the back off without damaging the watch, so pictures of the movement should be up once I find a small enough screwdriver. I managed to get a reply from Berthet; apparently the watch was a special order from Ansaldo for their staff, which was limited to 1,250 pieces. The movement size is 40mm, which should help to illustrate the size of the watch (once again, I apologise for the photos), and the case is apparently made of sterling silver. However, I can't find any stamps on the exterior or the inside of the door, and have replied asking about the location of any marks. It's worth noting that the person who took my question didn't seem comfortable writing in English, and the watch could well be silver-plated instead--it's likely only tarnished (and not brassed) because my grandfather never used it.
  3. Oh gosh. I wrote this in a hurry while my family was just leaving the house--hence the cringe-inducing mistakes--and now can't seem to find the edit button. Damn. The watch may have been made by a company called Berthet Horlogerie, whose watches are proving pretty hard to find online. If anyone has more info on the watch or its manufacturer, I'd appreciate it greatly. I also neglected to mention a couple of things: the dial has large Roman numerals inside the ring of small lines indicating minutes, and smaller Arabic ones outside the ring; there's a separate dial for seconds at the forty-five minute mark; the minute and hour hands are thin and ornate (nothing like those of a railroad watch); and the crown is positioned at three o'clock.
  4. The other day, I was looking through my late grandfather's old things and found a pretty nondescript cylindrical box. It was made of wood, with no noticeable markings on the inside, and contained a pocket watch. I currently don't have access to a camera, and internet services in the area are too poor to allow for uploading, but I should be able to put some up soon. The watch is a silver-plated piece in a hunter case, with the Gio Ansalo & C. logo/code of arms on the front. Above it are the words 'Gio Ansaldo & C.', with 'Genova' underneath the emblem. The watch face bears no markings besides 'C.J. Berthet' written on the top half of the face, and 'Ancre 17 Rubis' on the bottom half. I'd really appreciate some help with identifying it--there's nothing I can find on the internet regarding any of the words on the watch. As always, thanks you all.
  5. Fair point there--having done some more research, I'd be happy to refurbish and wear it if I can haggle the store owner down enough. After searching around a bit, it seemed that Sicura only turned out low-quality watches, but it seems their jump hours were made after the owner acquired the Breitling brand, and so are of a higher quality. Nowhere near vintage Brietling quality, of course, but not poor either. The prices seem to be ranging from £25 to £150 or so online, but most of the ones towards the top end seem to be in good working order, and well-maintained. Although this one works, both the strap and casing are shabby as anything, so I should be able to get the price down--the store sells carpets, and isn't likely to ever shift that watch considering it was buried under a pile of tarnished silver Afghan jewelry. Thanks for replying so quickly.
  6. I'm currently in Pakistan, and saw an unusual watch under the counter in a carpet shop. I don't have any pictures of it, but I'll be going back to the shop in a few days and should be able to get some then. The watch had a digital display--rotating cylindrical dials with numbers on them, not a flip clock-style numbers--and a mechanical movement. A dial with an 'H' next to it displayed hours on the left side of the face; the one on the right had a capital 'D' next to it and displayed days. In between the two was the minute display, which was a flat circle that moved clockwise, with different numbers reaching a point that indicated the number of minutes. Since it moved clockwise, larger numbers were further to the left (sixty was to the left of fifty-five and so on). The only 'hand' on the watch face counted seconds, and it moved continuously (no ticking); strangely enough, it was attached to the centre of the face at the middle, so both ends were equidistant from the centre. From what I could gather, the watch could only be easily set by pulling out the crown, which seemed to only have one position--so one could only set the day by passing hours using the minute dial. In terms of aesthetics, the face was golden--I couldn't tell if it was plated or filled--and had 'Swiss made' and '17 Jewel' written on it. The back of the watch face had a ring of text on it: 'Swiss made', 'Water resistant' and 'Stainless', with deep circular indents between each inscription and the words 'water' and 'resistant'. I think the front of the face may have also said 'scuba' and 'Sicura'. I'm not knowledgeable about watches at all, and could really do with some help identifying it, as the shopkeeper's charging Rs. 25,000 for it (about $260). I'm unlikely to wear it (the metal strap is deformed and will have to be replaced, and the face needs a good polishing) and am not in a position to spend that much on an item I'll most likely keep on my desk. As always, thanks. EDIT: I've found a watch that looks almost exactly the same on eBay; however, the 'propeller' in the centre was black, and the watch face was gold in colour. This is a much closer match in terms of aesthetics. Does anybody know about Sicura as a brand, and is the watch worth haggling for? Thanks again.
  7. Thanks loads for taking the time to reply; it's always great being able to talk to knowledgable people. @Rotundus--I'm planning on carrying it in a pants pocket, with a chain attached to a belt loop. I did realise that the pocket would need to be empty, but hadn't thought it out too well--thanks for making it clear. Love your name, by the way. I've found a lot of variety on eBay, and am currently looking for a reputable pocket watch seller--I won't be making the purchase for about a month, so all I can do for the moment is find someone who appears trustworthy. Definitely going for a mechanical movement, and I was delighted to find a lot of gold-filled and solid cases for sale at well under $100. I'll probably end up going over that price if the piece is coming from a reliable source, of course, but the idea of a solid case is incredibly appealing nevertheless. There's a lot of very interesting stuff out there, and I'll certainly be posting anything that seems worthwhile on this forum. That way, I might have a better idea of what to look for in terms of models, makes and so on when it's time to actually buy a watch. Planning on learning a bit more about movements as well, since I have some time off right now; they've always fascinated me and I'd really like to know what's making the watches tick before I own one. Once again, I can't thank all of you enough for helping me out here.
  8. Shangas--thanks for that; I'm very new to this, and you've brought me down to earth a little with your post :notworthy: If you could recommend a vintage watch--without a hunter case/skeleton face--that keeps good time, I'd be much obliged. Thanks. Regox, I'm checking out Rotary now, along with eBay for vintage watches.
  9. Hello everyone--this is my first post here; I hope you're having an awesome day, or at least one with really good tea :D I've wanted a pocket watch for years; there's just something about watching a mechanical movement that mesmerises me completely. So, having done some research, the logical choice seemed like a skeleton-faced/double hunter watch. The issue is that reviews of such things are few and far between, and any modern pocket watch under £180 doesn't seem to have any knowledgable comments attached to its product pages. Much of what I've read by way of customer 'reviews' is people who bought watches as gifts for someone; the buyers seem happy to talk about how great a piece looks in every shade of floral gushing possible--but only a couple of comments even mention its timekeeping ability. I've heard vintage watches are better-built, or at least more accurate, than today's mechanical watches, but the lack of actual information about modern pocket watches has left me wedged uncomfortably over the fence. If you've had any experience with makes like Woodford, Charles Hubert, Royal London and so on, I'd really appreciate your thoughts on them. Are they durable and accurate? Are more expensive ones--say £175 as opposed to £40--going to retain their accuracy for longer, or am I just paying for the finish? Is the watch going to last, or would I be much better off going for a vintage pocket watch? I know railroad watches are fine timepieces when properly maintained, but ideally I'd like something that lets me see the movement. I like skeleton faces, solid ones and anything in between, but a double-hunter style would be great. I've already searched the forum for threads like this, and couldn't find anything comparing vintage watches to modern ones along with recommendations. If you've managed to put up with me long enough to read that, I salute you, and thank you profusely. Any recommendations you have are welcome--it's just really great being part of a community that's so knowledgable about things like this, instead of having to make my choices in the dark.
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